WIRING: It's like Christmas lights … once you get a good power source you can really go crazy. I guess that's one of the reasons I've never added a power grid to one of my boats. Sure as I do, I'll have dash lights, bow/stern lights, and an 18" subwoofer (though a pair of 10's would probably work just as well). Once you are set up with a 12 volt system, anything that will connect on a go-boat will now connect in your row-boat. Those are scary possibilities indeed. You'll need to keep the battery stationary, as dry as possible, and make it easy to get at for removal and recharging. The easiest choice would be to mount it in the front hatch area. The battery is actually pretty small, so you won't need a lot of room.
Referred to as a fishfinder, graph, sounder or recreational sonar, these products provide anglers with the ability to locate and target open-water baitfish, game fish and cover. This underwater-viewing advantage helped launch sportfishing markets like never before, as anglers were able to better understand depth contours, bottom composition and structure location, plus how fish related to this environment.
As we mentioned, the strength of a fish finder is in how well it can locate the fish, which is why you need a high-quality transducer. CHIRP technology is one of the best you can find, and it provides a 200-watt RMS signal that can reach down to 1,600 feet in fresh water and 750 feet in salt water. Overall, you can find plenty of fish with this device.
Other devices which are widely used as bite indicators are floats which float in the water, and dart about if a fish bites, and quiver tips which are mounted onto the tip of the fishing rod. Bite alarms are electronic devices which bleep when a fish tugs a fishing line. Whereas floats and quiver tips are used as visual bite detectors, bite alarms are audible bite detectors.
The image above, at right, clearly shows the bottom structure—plants, sediments and hard bottom are discernible on sonar plots of sufficiently high power and appropriate frequency. Slightly more than halfway up from the bottom to the left of the screen centre and about a third away from the left side, this image is also displaying a fish – a light spot just to the right of a 'glare' splash from the camera's flashbulb. The X-axis of the image represents time, oldest (and behind the soundhead) to the left, most recent bottom (and current location) on the right; thus the fish is now well behind the transducer, and the vessel is now passing over a dip in the ocean floor or has just left it behind. The resulting distortion depends on both the speed of the vessel and how often the image is updated by the echo sounder.
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In operation, an electrical impulse from a transmitter is converted into a sound wave by an underwater transducer, called a hydrophone, and sent into the water.[3] When the wave strikes something such as a fish, it is reflected back and displays size, composition, and shape of the object. The exact extent of what can be discerned depends on the frequency and power of the pulse transmitted. Knowing the speed of the wave in the water, the distance to the object that reflected the wave can be determined. The speed of sound through the water column depends on the temperature, salinity and pressure (depth). This is approximately c = 1404.85 + 4.618T - 0.0523T2 + 1.25S + 0.017D (where c = sound speed (m/s), T = temperature (degrees Celsius), S = salinity (per mille) and D = depth).[4] Typical values used by commercial fish finders are 4921 ft/s (1500 m/s) in seawater and 4800 ft/s (1463 m/s) in freshwater.

The thickness of the line representing the bottom is also a great clue to bottom hardness. Here the rule is simple – the thicker the line, the harder the bottom. But, be careful – sonar sensitivity can affect how thick the line is. The Deeper display has adjustable sensitivity. So if you turn up the sensitivity to 100%, the bottom line may appear thicker, if you turn it down to 10% it may appear thinner. So practice adjusting the sensitivity and get used to judging how much the bottom thickness varies based on this.

There is a huge variety of fish finder brands, their models and types. All this can make it quite complicated and time consuming to find the right one for your needs.  To help you in your search, we have compiled this best fish finder reviews of the models that are popular and top rated in 2017. With our reviews you can find the right fish finder for your style of fishing. To make sure that you get the right features for your needs, it’s important to do prior research. So read our reviews and comparisons to decide which model you need.
Transmit Power: Transmit power is expressed in watts RMS (root mean squared) and is related to how well you see in silt-laden water, view down to greater depths and successfully resolve separate targets and bottom structure. A 500-watt (RMS) fishfinder should have plenty of power for most coastal applications. Serious bluewater anglers should look for 1,000 watts or more. Inland lake fishermen can see the shallow bottom with only 200 watts.
The intensity of the sonar return from a hard bottom will be different to one from a hard bottom. Your fish finder uses colour to show this difference. In the standard colour palette of the Deeper display, the colour varies from dull brown (softest) to intense orange (hardest). In the day mode colour palette (see screen shot), the difference is even easier to see, with the colour ranging from purple (softest) to red to orange to yellow (hardest).
MOUNTING THE FISHFINDER: Cockpit space in any paddle craft is premium real estate, so definitely do some planning before you do some drilling. The carpenters pencil is your friend in this case. I suggest that before you drill/cut, you spend some time on the water and use that pencil to mark up potential mounting spots. You have to be able to see it well and to reach it, but it needs to be out of the way when you cast, land a fish, or get in/out of your boat. If your boat has some sort of console, that's an obvious mounting choice. But, if you don't then Ram Mounts offers a number of multi-position solutions that will allow you to mount it just about anywhere. Once you decide where it will go, you have to get the wiring to the battery and to the transducer.
Once you've got your rod and reel setup how you want it, pull the right fishing line and tackle for the waters you're fishing from your tackle box and get to work. Add a sinker for more depth or a floater that can help track your line. A thick fishing line and hook will provide more resistance for reeling in larger fish. If nothing's biting from the shore, why not load up your fishing tools into a fishing boat or raft and try exploring further out. Customize the power of your boat with a trolling motor or do things the old fashioned way with a canoe and paddles.
Humminbird 140C Fishin’ Buddy is one of the top rated fish finders among the portable type. So you can use it on your boat, on the leased boat, on the dock or for fishing from anywhere else. To use the device you won’t need to do any rigging or wiring. Instead it uses extendable transducer tube housing with the length suitable for most small and mid-sized boats.
Fishfinders operate using a single frequency transducer, dual frequencies, multiple frequencies or a broadband CHIRP system. In general, higher frequencies give the finest detail resolution, the least background noise on your screen and the best view from a fast-moving boat, but don’t penetrate as deeply as lower frequencies. Shallow-water inland anglers generally choose higher frequencies of 200kHz, 400kHz or 800kHz. For maximum depth, use lower frequencies. We recommend 200kHz or higher (up to 800kHz) for water depths up to 200' and 80kHz or 50kHz for deeper waters.
The sound wave spreads as it gets further from the transducer. The wider the cone, the larger the coverage area, but the as the cone angle spreads, sensitivity diminishes. A 20-degree cone is considered a versatile angle for fishers who frequent different water depths. More advanced devices come with double and triple beams, ideal for scanning deep water depths.
* Financing available is "Equal payments, no interest" for 12 months (unless otherwise stated) and is only available on request, on approved credit and on purchases of $200 or more (excluding gift cards) made with your Triangle credit card at Canadian Tire, Sport Chek and participating Marks and Atmosphere locations. Interest does not accrue during the period of the plan. However, if we do not receive the full minimum due on a statement within 59 days of the date of that statement, or any event of default (other than a payment default) occurs under your Cardmember Agreement, all special payment plans on your account will terminate and (i) you will then be charged interest on the balances outstanding on such plans at the applicable regular annual rate from the day after the date of your next statement, and (ii) the balances outstanding will form part of the balance due on that statement. There is no administration fee charged for entering into a special payments plan. Each month during an equal payments plan you are required to pay in full by the due date that month’s equal payments plan instalment. Any unpaid portion not received by the due date will no longer form part of the equal payments plan and interest will accrue on that amount from the day after the date of your next statement at the applicable regular annual rate.
Transducers: Fishfinders operate using a single frequency transducer, dual frequencies, multiple frequencies or a broadband CHIRP system. In general, higher frequencies give the finest detail resolution, the least background noise on your screen and the best view from a fast-moving boat, but don’t penetrate as deeply as lower frequencies. Shallow-water inland anglers generally choose higher frequencies of 200kHz, 455kHz or 800kHz. For maximum depth, use lower frequencies. We recommend 200kHz or higher (up to 800kHz) for water depths up to 200' and 80kHz or 50kHz for deeper waters.
As you look for a GPS/fishfinder combo, keep in mind that the best power and frequency won’t mean much if you can’t use the information. Think in terms of a computer. You can have the most-powerful and efficient computing capability, but without a high-quality monitor, the data does you little good. That’s why it’s always a good idea to spend a bit more to get a top-shelf screen.

It is without a doubt that Lowrance has once again raised the bar for current technology. With their newly refined interface, their loyal customers will find the flow of operation to be much smoother than ever before. Don’t let the simple user operation fool you; Lowrance has built a technologically advanced unit with all the features you would expect.
MOUNTING THE FISHFINDER: Cockpit space in any paddle craft is premium real estate, so definitely do some planning before you do some drilling. The carpenters pencil is your friend in this case. I suggest that before you drill/cut, you spend some time on the water and use that pencil to mark up potential mounting spots. You have to be able to see it well and to reach it, but it needs to be out of the way when you cast, land a fish, or get in/out of your boat. If your boat has some sort of console, that's an obvious mounting choice. But, if you don't then Ram Mounts offers a number of multi-position solutions that will allow you to mount it just about anywhere. Once you decide where it will go, you have to get the wiring to the battery and to the transducer.
For just around 600 you can get this Raymarine Dragonfly fish finder that offers features that are usually found on much pricier models. It uses next-gen CHIRP technology that gives photo-like imagery with high resolution structure. The CHIRP technology transmits a wide spectrum of frequencies and the result is a much higher resolution. The generous size (5.7 inches) of the display gives an easy read of the underwater details and the 1600 nits gives clear viewing even in bright daylight.
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It changed the game once. Now it’s poised to do it again. The HELIX Series has evolved, now offering MEGA Imaging+, Dual Spectrum CHIRP and Bluetooth connectivity in select models, along with exclusive technologies like Humminbird Basemap that you won't get from any other fish finder in its class. Power. Bold styling. Ease of use. In this family, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
A compact, affordable combination GPS/Fishfinder. Simrad’s GO 5XSE is an all in one solution to quality chartplotting and sonar. The included Med/High/DownScan transducer provides exceptional sonar imaging in near-photo like detail. Multiple Charting options from Insight, Navionics and C-Map enable the Simrad GO5 to go anywhere the water takes you.
It’s often been said that the act of fishing isn’t actually about catching a fish. Rather, it’s about a quiet moment with nature and a chance to sit, think and relax, whether on your bass fishing boat or on the banks of a river. Of course, if you’re a sport fisherman reeling in that prize monster on a white-capped ocean, there isn’t much relaxation to be had. If you prefer ice fishing or fly fishing, shop eBay for everything you need for a day on the water. We have the right gear for you, regardless of whether your allegiance lies with Orvis, Shimano or Abu Garcia.
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